Electric-field switching of two-dimensional van der Waals magnets

Shengwei Jiang, Jie Shan, Kin Fai Mak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

603 Scopus citations


Controlling magnetism by purely electrical means is a key challenge to better information technology 1 . A variety of material systems, including ferromagnetic (FM) metals 2-4, FM semiconductors 5, multiferroics 6-8 and magnetoelectric (ME) materials 9,10, have been explored for the electric-field control of magnetism. The recent discovery of two-dimensional (2D) van der Waals magnets 11,12 has opened a new door for the electrical control of magnetism at the nanometre scale through a van der Waals heterostructure device platform 13 . Here we demonstrate the control of magnetism in bilayer CrI3, an antiferromagnetic (AFM) semiconductor in its ground state 12, by the application of small gate voltages in field-effect devices and the detection of magnetization using magnetic circular dichroism (MCD) microscopy. The applied electric field creates an interlayer potential difference, which results in a large linear ME effect, whose sign depends on the interlayer AFM order. We also achieve a complete and reversible electrical switching between the interlayer AFM and FM states in the vicinity of the interlayer spin-flip transition. The effect originates from the electric-field dependence of the interlayer exchange bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-410
Number of pages5
JournalNature Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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